By Matt Green
For The Forsyth County News
Marcus Chatelain’s career night helped Lambert knock off Forsyth Central 34-19 on Friday night.
The game plan for Lambert (3-7, 1-4 Region 5-7A) seemed pretty simple: Give the ball to No. 5 and let him do his thing, and that is exactly what he did on Friday night. Chatelain carried the ball 30 times and rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns. Even more impressive was that 184 of those yards came in the second half.
“Marcus (Chatelain) has been everything for this program for four years,” Lambert head coach Louis Daniel said. “He’s an ideal citizen, he’s got a wonderful attitude, personality. I couldn’t be more proud of that young man, and these boys wanted to play for him.”
Steven Majors’ interception set up the Longhorns’ first touchdown drive of the game early in the second quarter. Later in the quarter, Justin Bruno got behind two Bulldog defenders and Peyton Rich hit him perfectly in stride down the left sideline for a 61-yard touchdown, putting Lambert up 14-0.
Central (0-10, 0-5) responded with an 8-play, 80-yard touchdown drive before the half. Devran Orsan had three carries for 55 yards on the drive and punched it in from a yard out, cutting the Longhorns lead to 14-6 at the half.
On Lambert’ first play of the second half, Chatelain broke a 50-yard touchdown run right through the Bulldogs’ defense, giving the Longhorns a commanding 21-6 lead in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs were able to move the ball well, but struggled to finish off drives. Brad Thiltgen played a great game for Central, going 25-for-37 for 280 yards through the air while also racking up 64 yards on 10 carries on the ground. But two interceptions deep in Longhorn territory were the difference in the game.
Lambert outgained Central 459-408 in the ball game, but the Bulldogs actually outgained the Longhorns 270-256 in the second half.
After Lambert went up 27-12 with just over five minutes remaining, things didn’t look good for the Bulldogs. But Thiltgen led a 5-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to make it a one-score game. On the drive, Thiltgen went 4-for-4 for 37 yards and then scrambled for a 43-yard touchdown run.
“We just got a lot of resilience,” Thiltgen said. “We won’t give up, no matter how many touchdowns we’re down by, how many points, we always keep fighting. It’s just the culture here.”
With the state playoff qualifiers from Region 5 already established, neither team had much to play for coming into this game, but you wouldn’t have known that from their performances on the field.
“We wanted to go out on a bang, and we did it,” Chatelain said. “We got a win, that’s all we can ask for. It’s gonna be sad moving forward.”